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Matt Harvey, Mets at odds over innings limit

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Harvey is next scheduled to pitch on Tuesday against the Nationals.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 season has been a wildly successful campaign so far for Matt Harvey and the New York Mets, but the star pitcher is at odds with his organization over his availability and usage down the stretch, and it could come to a head soon.

The Mets entered Saturday with a five-game lead over the Washington Nationals with just 28 games remaining.

At issue is Harvey, in his first season back from 2013 Tommy John surgery, and just how much he can pitch. Earlier this week Harvey's agent Scott Boras said the Mets should cap Harvey's innings at 180 based on consultation with doctors, including James Andrews, who performed Harvey's Tommy John surgery.

"This is not a club's decision. This is a doctor's decision," Boras told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. "Any club that chooses to defy a surgeon's wishes is putting the player in peril."

Harvey is currently at 166⅓ innings, and told reporters on Saturday that he is in favor of the 180-inning limit, which would wipe him out for the playoffs. Harvey is 12-7 with a 2.60 ERA in 25 starts, and figures to start behind Jacob deGrom in a potential Mets playoff rotation

"I've been on the phone with Dr. Andrews. I've been on the phone with Scott," Harvey said Saturday, per Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. "Dr. Andrews said his limit was 180. That's what Scott, or Dr. Andrews had said. But, for me, I've got 166 innings. I don't know any much more than what I have to do Tuesday. And that's go out and beat the Nationals."

What makes this situation so bizarre is that Harvey was a vocal opponent of attempts earlier in the season by the Mets to limit his innings so he would have more left in the tank for October.

He balked at the six-man rotation after struggling in a loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles in July, which was probably easier to do when the Mets were languishing at or near .500. But New York has gone 33-19 (.635) since that July 4 Harvey loss and have an 80.3-percent chance to make the postseason per FanGraphs.

Mets manager Terry Collins had an answer for Harvey back in July, per Mike Puma of the New York Post:

"I guess the best way to say it is, ‘Matt, we’ll go back to a five-man, but I hope you enjoy watching the rest of the season sitting on the bench in September when we need you.’ We’ve got to make the adjustment, and Matt knows that."

The Mets on Friday said they plan to continue pitching Harvey into the playoffs.

"We've consulted with Matt all the way through. We will continue to do that," assistant general manager John Ricco told Rubin on Friday. "I don't think anything will change. ... I think we're very comfortable with the fact that we've had a plan. It has involved the doctors all the way through. To this point, they're still fine with that plan. We all think it's a reasonable way to go."